Summit Speaker: Alan Heeger
Production & Storage Solutions Group Head, Institute for Energy Efficiency
Alan J. Heeger won the 2000 Nobel Prize in chemistry with two other scientists for the discovery and development of electrically conducting polymers, and he continues his laboratory research at UCSB. He believes that the key to future progress in the sciences is in interdisciplinary collaborations. Heeger is also chief scientist for UNIAX, a company he founded that was acquired last year by Dupont. It focuses on the uses of plastic electronics commercial products. In 1977 Heeger and his colleagues discovered conducting polymers, a novel class of materials with electrical and optical properties like metals and semiconductors coupled with the mechanical and processing advantages of polymers. Applications of work by Heeger and his associates include conducting polymer blends for electromagnetic shielding and for antistatic packaging, and semiconducting polymers for use in the emerging field of plastic electronic devices, which already include diodes.